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Kidney anatomy
Kidney anatomy


Definition:

Fanconi syndrome is a disorder of the kidney tubes in which certain substances normally absorbed into the bloodstream by the kidneys are released into the urine instead.



Alternative Names:

De Toni-Fanconi syndrome



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

Fanconi syndrome can be caused by faulty genes, or it may result later in life due to kidney damage. Sometimes the cause of Fanconi syndrome is unknown.

Common causes of Fanconi syndrome in children are genetic defects that affect the body's ability to break down certain compounds such as:

Cystinosis is the most common cause of Fanconi syndrome in children.

Other causes in children include:

  • Exposure to heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium
  • Lowe's disease, a rare genetic disorder of the eyes, brain, and kidneys
  • Wilson's disease

In adults, Fanconi syndrome can be caused by various things that damage the kidneys, including:



Symptoms:
  • Passing large amounts of urine, which can lead to dehydration
  • Bone pain
  • Weakness


Signs and tests:

Laboratory tests may show that excess amounts of the following substances may be lost in the urine:

Loss of these substances can lead to a variety of problems. Further tests and a physical exam may show signs of:



Treatment:

Many different diseases can cause Fanconi syndrome. The underlying cause and its symptoms should be treated as appropriate.



Expectations (prognosis):

The prognosis depends on the underlying disease.



Complications:



Calling your health care provider:

Call your health care provider if you have dehydration or muscle weakness.



Prevention:



References:

Seifter JL. Potassium disorders. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 118.




Review Date: 11/10/2008
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and James R. Mason, MD, Oncologist, Director, Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program and Stem Cell Processing Lab, Scripps Clinic, Torrey Pines, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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